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  • President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Gene Leon visits the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer to discuss new areas of cooperation in the Caribbean.
  • Visit highlights key achievements during the partnership between the two institutions following four decades of cooperation.
  • At COP26 in Glasgow, CDB and EIB underlined support for climate action and resilience in the Caribbean, including USD 200m in concessional finance for climate projects.

President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Gene Leon visited the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the first time, following a series of meetings with top EIB officials at COP 26 in Glasgow.

During the visit, President Leon and EIB President, Werner Hoyer discussed various means for further solidifying the relationship between their institutions by enhancing knowledge exchange, strengthening governance and institutional resilience, and developing new and innovative instruments to crowd-in private sector financing of projects in the Caribbean. The EIB facilitated discussions with operational teams on lending for corporates, sustainability funding, and country and financial sector analysis to determine the best approaches for taking the new initiatives forward.

Commenting on the strengthened partnership, EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “The Caribbean region is particularly hard hit by climate change, and COP 26 in Glasgow has shown that adaptation is now at the forefront of discussions. I am pleased to welcome the new President of the Caribbean Development Bank, our key financing partner in the Caribbean region. The meeting allowed us to highlight our partnership with CDB, whilst underscoring our role as the EU’s Climate Bank in the context of the wider EU Team Europe Initiative. The EIB will continue supporting climate and environment projects, working closely with CDB to identify joint financing opportunities”

Speaking during the visit to Luxembourg, CDB President Dr Gene Leon said: “The CDB values the well-established partnership with the EIB which has been instrumental in building technical capacity and financing key development projects, including on climate and the environment, that are making a significant contribution to improving the welfare of the people of the Caribbean region”.

Climate action and COVID-19 finance

The two Presidents also discussed the longstanding partnership between the two institutions highlighting key joint achievements, including the USD 200m of Climate Action funding for projects in the region and the recent USD 36m health care provision which enables CDB to provide funding to its borrowing member countries (BMCs) for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. Also, Technical assistance support from the EIB has been valuable for facilitating project preparation and climate risk assessments for CDB interventions.

Supporting co-financed projects

In 2019, the banks signed a harmonized Procurement Framework for jointly co-financed projects between EIB and CDB, allowing the two institutions to delegate procurement arrangements and monitoring to each other for co-financed projects. Concessional financing has been important in incentivising countries to make climate adaptation investments.

CDB delegation in Luxembourg

President Leon is on a two-day visit to Luxembourg which will wrap up today.  He is leading a four-member team including the CDB’s Vice President, Operations, Isaac Solomon, Director of Projects, Daniel Best and Senior Advisor to the President, Dr Shelton Nicholls.

Background information:  

The Caribbean Development Bank is committed to helping Borrowing Member Countries reduce inequality and halve the incidence of extreme poverty by the end of 2025, through supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and promoting good governance. CDB is currently owned by 28 member countries: 23 members from the region, divided into 19 borrowing member countries (BMCs) and four non-borrowing member countries; and five non-regional members.

The European Union’s (EU) relationship with the Caribbean centres on trade, political, and development partnerships. On the development front, the EU is the Caribbean’s largest partner. Regarding trade, the EU signed the first regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008 and we are the region’s second largest trading partner.